Biotech giant selects PN to trumpet breakthrough genome drug

CAMBRIDGE, MA: Millennium Pharmaceuticals, a genomics-based biopharmaceutical company with a dollars 12.7 billion market cap, has selected Porter Novelli over Ogilvy and The GCI Group to serve as its global agency of record.

CAMBRIDGE, MA: Millennium Pharmaceuticals, a genomics-based biopharmaceutical company with a dollars 12.7 billion market cap, has selected Porter Novelli over Ogilvy and The GCI Group to serve as its global agency of record.

CAMBRIDGE, MA: Millennium Pharmaceuticals, a genomics-based biopharmaceutical company with a dollars 12.7 billion market cap, has selected Porter Novelli over Ogilvy and The GCI Group to serve as its global agency of record.

PN will help the firm launch one of the first cancer drugs based on gene technology. Both Millennium and PN refused to disclose billings for the account.

PN replaces New York-based healthcare boutique Noonan/Russo Communications, which served as Millennium's agency of record since its inception in 1993.

Sally McCraven, director of corporate communications at Millennium, said PN's global offices were significant in her decision because Millennium recently acquired British biotech company Cambridge Discovery Chemistry and opened an office in Japan.

'We needed a firm with larger-scale capabilities,' said McCraven. 'As our PR budget gets larger over the year, our needs get larger.'

Millennium's customers include such major pharmaceutical concerns as American Home Products, Aventis, Bayer and Wyeth-Ayerst, all of which purchase the company's small molecule, biotherapeutic and predictive medicine products and technology.

PN has already begun coalition building and media relations to target the pharmaceutical industry, investors and academic and scientific organizations.

PR also will be used to establish a consumer brand at a later date. The company does not use advertising.

Millennium, which produces predictive medicines that precisely target defective genes, is set to launch a cancer drug called Campath and a diagnostic cancer test by the end of this year. The company already has six drugs in clinical trials and at least 10 in preclinical trials. At press time, the stock was trading at just under dollars 135.





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